Filipe R Costa

Iceland re-opens its door to capital flows

Iceland re-opens its door to capital flows

5 mins. to read

While Europe is recovering from the financial and sovereign crises at a very moderate pace, Iceland seems to have completely reversed one of the worst banking crises ever seen, where three banks with assets in excess of 10x the country’s GDP suddenly collapsed. Almost 10 years after the peak of the crisis, when the central…

Rates up, populism down

Rates up, populism down

7 mins. to read

Last week we witnessed some interesting global developments that will pave the way forward: populism was somewhat defeated in the Netherlands, the FED hiked its key rate by another 25 basis points, an ECB official hinted at policy normalisation, and the BoE appeared more hawkish than many expected. After more than a decade of sluggish…

Are these some of the most exotic ETFs around?

Are these some of the most exotic ETFs around?

7 mins. to read

In the last few years, passive index investing has grown significantly, as those involved in the investment business try to capitalise on the growing demand for alternative ways of building investment portfolios that bypass both the high fees incurred in active fund management and the knowledge (and money) required to build a well-diversified portfolio. At…

It’s time for the ECB to turn hawkish

It’s time for the ECB to turn hawkish

5 mins. to read

The tone used by the US Federal Reserve to express its attitude towards monetary policy has changed significantly since last December. With the US economy operating near full employment, the emergency stance that guided Ben Bernanke into unchartered territory has now been completely replaced by a more hawkish stance, where the doom and gloom has…

The strange case of the Swedish taxpayer

The strange case of the Swedish taxpayer

5 mins. to read

In general, taxpayers try to minimise their contributions to the government budget, either by optimising their tax rate or through trying to delay payments wherever they can. But something strange seems to be happening in Sweden. The country seems to have been gripped by some form of mania that has led the taxpayer to overpay…

There is too much optimism in oil markets

There is too much optimism in oil markets

5 mins. to read

While acknowledging the ‘Trump pump’ to the oil industry, I have always been sceptical about the long-term prospects for the industry because I believe prices are capped at a much lower level than they were ten years ago. Any excessive enthusiasm is doomed to revert to an even more extreme pessimism in ever shorter periods,…

Diversifying through sports betting

Diversifying through sports betting

6 mins. to read

While an investor tries to maximise the expected returns of his portfolio, he always faces a formidable enemy – risk. In theory, if leverage has no limits, any level of expected return can be achieved. But risk is also expected to rise with it and make the burden of failure too great for an investor…

The risks are piling up in 2017

The risks are piling up in 2017

1 mins. to read

2017 has only just begun, but it is already filled with a long queue of risky upcoming events, of which politics takes its fair share. Europe will face big challenges, as France and Germany both prepare for general elections, where they will face the growing strength of the far-right anti-European parties. While Marine Le Pen…

Volatility is at record lows – but for how long?

Volatility is at record lows – but for how long?

5 mins. to read

Since Trump won the U.S. election, markets have been flying higher without pause for breath. The Dow, for example, is up 9.7% and recently broke the 20,000 barrier. Trump is probably one of the most eccentric presidents the U.S. has ever deigned to elect, and poses major risks to trade, multinationals, and the world order.…